One of the biggest complaints that speakers often receive is what we call “Data Dumping.” This is where we give too much information in a confusing and scattered way. In reality, the human brain likes to focus on just a single item at a time. So, if we cover too much information in a single sitting (the time that an audience member sits down to the time that they go on break,) the audience will likely be confused and forgetful. It is better to cover a few bullets well than to cover a bunch of bullets in a cursory way.
1. Create an Audience Focused Title
The quality of the speech always begins with the title. If you can create a title that, when the audience reads it, they already want to hear the rest of your presentation, you have started well! If your title is confusing, there is a good chance that your presentation will also be pretty confusing. Spend time coming up with an informative title that is focused on the benefit to the audience and also gives your audience an overview of the entire presentation.
2. A Good Rule: Cover No More than 5 Main Points Per Sitting
So, if you can only cover a few items, what items should you include in your presentation? The key to being a fantastic presenter is to cover only the content that is most important to your audience at this time. (If you get to speak to the audience again, in the future, you can cover additional items.) Remember, the presentation isn’t about you. It is about what your audience needs and wants. Focus on the audience, and designing your presentation gets much, much easier.
3. Focus on What Your Audience Wants
When you are deciding on what to cover in your presentation and what to cut, look at the presentation from the audience’s perspective. What are the most vital, most important concepts that they audience needs to know about your topic? Whatever those things are include them in the presentation. Anything needs to be cut.
TITLE: Quarterly Financial Report
COMPLETE SENTENCE: Sales Revenue Decreased by 14% Last Quarter
BENEFIT TO AUDIENCE: If we fix the problems, we can increase revenue this quarter.
ADD BENEFIT TO TITLE: A Few Suggestions that Will Keep Us from Experiencing a Sales Revenue Drop in Two Consecutive Quarters
TITLE: Automation Software Presentation
COMPLETE SENTENCE: How to Use the New Automation Software.
BENEFIT TO AUDIENCE: The software will reduce human error and save you time.
ADD BENEFIT TO TITLE: New Automation Software Will Help You Save Time and Reduce Errors